Job fairs provide a quick and convenient opportunity to apply to several companies
and in some cases to get immediate interviews. Companies participate in job fairs
for one main reason – to screen candidates for existing or future job openings.
You should remember that employers are investing time and resources to participate in the job fair. Unless job
seekers do their homework, they waste their own time and the employer’s time. Employers appreciate job
seekers who are prepared and have a professional attitude. Job seekers appreciate company representatives
who are easy to approach and have clear answers to their questions. If both sides prepare adequately, job fairs
can be beneficial for everyone!
Reasons For Attending
A Job Fair
Increase your chances of receiving an
interview with an employer.
Expand your network of contacts.
Investigate positions, occupations and
career fields you could pursue with
your skills and background.
Learn more about employers and
Receive sound job search advice from
seasoned company recruiters.
Employers expect you to be prepared
(dressed professionally, ask thoughtful
questions, have a polished resume).
Employers expect to interact with
people seeking information on career
opportunities and employment.
Your goal should be to land an interview
- not necessarily a job offer. Most
recruiters are not authorized to hire
candidates on the day of the job fair.
You should expect to have a relatively
short amount of time to sell yourself and
make a positive impact on the employer.
Employers’ goals are to be exposed to as
many job candidates as possible.
What To Expect At
A Job Fair
A Job Seeker’s Guide
This Employment Ontario project is funded by the Ontario Government.
Attending a job fair for the first time can be a little overwhelming. However, if you prepare you
will get as much out of the event as you put into it. Here are a few tips to consider before, during
and after the job fair.
Before The Job Fair
Prepare a resume that is well written and error free. Adapt your resume to the specific jobs you are applying
for. If you’re uncertain about the quality and content of your resume, visit an employment or guidance counselor.
Make sure you have multiple copies of both your resume and list of references on hand.
If there is potential for on-the-spot interviewing or hiring at the job fair, take reference letters and cover
letters, and assemble a professional portfolio.
Create a one-minute introduction about yourself. Your introduction should
explain: who you are, your qualifications and accomplishments, special skills and
values that set you apart from other applicants, one or two examples of how
you could benefit the company.
Practice your introduction out loud until you feel comfortable, confident
and enthusiastic, yet natural. Your delivery of the commercial is perhaps more
important than the content of your commercial.
Make a list of employers you would like to meet with at the job fair.
Research companies/sectors in which you are most
interested. Learn who the companies are and what they
do (check the company website if they have one).
Create a list of questions you want to ask employers. Be
prepared to ask relevant questions to these employers. This
will make you an interesting and memorable applicant.
Prepare to answer questions because employers will be asking
them. Review standard interview questions in this guide
and formulate your responses.
Plan your strategy. Plan to visit booths first that interest you
the most (when your energy is high and you’re at your best).
Take pens and paper.
Plan to dress appropriately. First impressions are very important.
Unprofessional attire is one of the leading reasons candidates are not considered.
Set realistic expectations. You might not be hired on-the-spot at the job fair. Be prepared to follow-up
on promising leads.
During The Job Fair
After The Job Fair
Give yourself the competitive edge and don’t make the mistake of thinking that as soon as you have spoken to
the last employer and left the facility that you are finished. Follow-up is essential.
Continue to research the companies that interest you. Treat the Job Fair as an initial contact, not the last.
Keep accurate records of your contacts, including the dates of your letters or telephone calls, and
copies of all application materials that you send.
Be persistent and observe the follow-up procedure suggested by the employer. Once you have complied
with these procedures, and a reasonable amount of time has passed since you heard from the employer, it is
okay to send an email or call to inquire about the status of your application.
Review your notes from the job fair. Evaluate what you think went well and what you can improve for
the next job fair or interview.
As you arrive, be polite to people in the parking lot, hallway, or restroom - pretty much anyone could be a
Turn off your cell phone and do not carry any food or drinks.
Check-in at the registration table. Get a copy of the job fair layout
and/or the employer participation list. Determine where employers
are located and in what order you plan to visit them.
Be confident and display enthusiasm. Smile, walk with good
posture, and make consistent and direct eye contact. To further
demonstrate your self-confidence visit employers’ tables on your own.
Approach your targeted companies. As you approach the table, respect other people’s privacy as they
complete their interaction with the employer. If there is a long line to speak to a representative, keep moving
and return later.
Introduce yourself when it’s your turn to meet the employer. Take a deep breath, smile, shake hands firmly
and begin your introduction. Make direct eye contact with the employer throughout your conversation, and
watch your tempo and tone. Avoid speaking too quickly and/or too loudly or softly.
Ask meaningful questions without monopolizing the employer’s time. Do not ask about salary at this time.
If you are still in school, ask about internships, co-op placements, summer jobs and scholarship opportunities.
Prepare to follow-up, thank the employer for his/her time, leave a copy of your resume, ask the employer
for a business card and protocol for follow-up and jot down a few notes about your conversation. (You may
want to include a few memorable discussion points when you follow-up.)
Your Personal Introduction To Employers
Things To Remember
with a sm
Ask about the application
procedure and hiring process.
What’s the time-frame?
Is there a convenient time to
call to follow-up?
y be n
Do NOT ask questions
about salary and benefits
(wait until later for these
types of questions).
Don’t let promotional
‘freebies’ on the table
distract you and do
not grab at them.
Request a business
card or obtain a contact
name, phone number,
fax, and email.
Thank each employer
for their time.
Your personal introduction:
• Your introduction should only be approximately one minute long.
• Include your name, the reason you are approaching this employer, a highlight of your education/work
experiences, and your career objective.
• Remember to make reference to your resume.
• Begin by shaking the employer’s hand with a confident smile.
“Hi, my name is ________________. I am interested in a position as a sales associate with your company. As
you can see from my resume, I have over 10 years of experience working in customer service. I look forward to
discussing my qualifications with you further. Thank you for your time.”
“Hi, my name is ________________. I have recently graduated with a diploma in electrical engineering and I look
forward to beginning my career in this field. You will notice from my resume that I have experience working as an
electrician’s assistant. Please consider me for a position with your company. Thank you.”
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